The Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal hears and determines applications for financial assistance made by victims of violent crime committed in Victoria. It assists victims of crime in their recovery by paying for expenses that they have incurred, or are likely to incur in the future, as a direct result of the crime. It is intended to be a sympathetic and compassionate forum for applicants to relate their experience as victims of crime.
Purpose and objective of legislation
The Tribunal was established by the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996. The objectives of the Act are to:
- Assist victims of crime in their recovery by paying them financial assistance for expenses incurred, or reasonably likely to be incurred, by them as a direct result of the crime;
- To pay certain victims of crime financial assistance as a symbolic expression by the State of the community’s sympathy and condolence for, and recognition of, significant adverse effects experienced or suffered by them as victims of crime; and
- To allow victims of crime to have recourse to financial assistance under the VOCA Act where compensation for the injury cannot be obtained from the offender or other sources.
The purpose and objectives of the Act specifically state that awards of financial assistance (including special financial assistance) to victims of crime are not intended to reflect the level of compensation to which victims of crime may be entitled at common law or otherwise.